I didn’t actually read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, but I listened to it as an audiobook. This was my first audiobook experience, and I was not disappointed! If you need entertainment for an upcoming road trip or want to listen to something while you go on a long run, this book is a good one to try.
About the book: The novel takes place in France during WWII, and follows the lives of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle (I guess I am on a historical fiction/sisterhood kick with my book picks 😛 ). Vianne’s husband, Antoine, is summoned to fight for France in the war, while Vianne is left at home alone with their daughter, Sophie. When Germany takes over France, Vianne is forced to house a German soldier. Her and her daughter’s lives , and the lives of those around them, are under constant scrutiny and danger as they face the Nazis, starvation, cold winters, and poverty.
Isabelle, Vianne’s younger sister, is a rebellious and vivacious spirit. After being kicked out of yet another boarding school, Isabelle is sent by her father to stay with Vianne. Isabelle longs to be involved in the war efforts, and her stay at her sister’s is cut short as she becomes a key leader within the Resistance.
What I like: I love Kristin Hannah’s writing style. She develops her characters so fully, and it is effortless to put yourself in their shoes. The relationships of the characters have the complex dimensions of real-life relationships, which makes the story such a good one. The plot makes it hard to guess what is coming next, and it had a few moments that made me gasp aloud. I was so immersed in this audiobook that the time flew by on a 7 hour drive!
What I don’t like: The price… audio books are expensive (it was worth it though)! Definitely get this in print if you can. I have no other dislikes.
Overall impression: This story is complex, emotional, and explores relationships, bravery, war, family, and human nature in great, well written detail. I loved it!
I recommend this book if… you are interested in reading about WWII, want a book to tug at your heartstrings, or have been searching for a book in which to immerse yourself.